Thursday, January 20, 2011

Avoiding The Grim Reaper

I was on my park walk this morning and I saw an ambulance with its lights a flashin' parked outside a house on Tarpon Drive (for those who like such details).

As I passed, I was happy to notice that the paramedic was putting the end of the gurney into a semi upright position so at least I felt that the park resident wasn't leaving feet first, so to speak. Continuing on my walk, I got to thinking.

I've not been around the grim reaper's handiwork much in my life and can count the number of funerals I've attended on the fingers of one hand. Obviously friends and even some relatives have died and I've just not been to their funerals for one reason or another but even adding those in, I've not really had many deaths to deal with. Until I came to this park that is.

This is a 55+ community and I'd reckon that most residents are 75+ leaving (relatively) young 'uns like myself to bring down the average. As such, an ambulance entering this park is not an usual sight and in any case, it usually means there is still hope for its intended passenger. Whether that passenger ever makes the return trip is another matter, of course.

But it helps to focus the mind and makes me, at least, realise what's important in life. And that is to make sure that flaming ambulance and it's much darker coloured cousin, never stop outside MY house !! I wonder if smearing some lamb's blood on the door would help too ? Hmmm.

There have been a few deaths here already since I got here (yes, yes, just a coincidence I'm sure) and a few weeks ago a lovely little old lady passed away and it quite upset me. She reminded me of my mother as she was always smiling, loved giving hugs and was small and 'boney' to use a technical term ! When we met up again last November, the day after I got here, she greeted me with a room brightening smile and a hug that I thought would never end.

She played bocce which is where I first met her several years ago. I've no idea what else she did but she was very active and sprightly and typical of most residents here. So her death was a shock to me and as her house is on my walking route, it was with some sadness that I'd pass it regularly and see her car all covered over and her name sign swinging gently in the breeze in her garden.

I'd heard that family members had visited last week to presumably make arrangements for her house to be sold and her car to be passed along to some grandchild or other. So it was with a heavy heart that coming just a few minutes after passing that ambulance, I came to her house and noticed that both the car and the sign were gone.

We don't leave much behind but memories, do we ?


Daphne said...

Well perhaps we don't - but I think that the memories are the most important thing.

Anonymous said...

It's exactly why I write poetry (none of my computer programs will survive, that's for sure).

I wrote one a while back about precisely this type of thing:-

Jay said...

There's a reason for the saying 'you can't take it with you'. Yes, memories, and if we're lucky, some more concrete memorial to our passing (no, I don't mean the tombstone!), like .. I dunno, a book, music recording, piece of art. Or as most of us do, something more mundane like a bundle of letters, or a handmade magazine rack.

Nah. That's not really all, you know. Memories are pretty strong and lasting, but there are also our children for those that have them, or perhaps something equally valuable but more ephemeral, such as a new way of doing something.

We ALL leave our mark on the world, one way or another.

I'm sorry you lost a friend. That's never easy.

Ronda said...

Ronda said...
That is why children and grandchildren are so important. You leave a little bit of yourself behind with each one of them.

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